Chennai, Sep 29: Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi today expressed confidence of his team winning the Indian Super League title for the second straight year, saying that his players were raring to go after their strenuous training in the country and pre-season stint in Italy. [Full schedule of ISL 2016] [Full list of squads for ISL 2016]
"We are fully geared up to defending the title," the Italian World Cup winner said. "I do not have any worries as we have addressed all positions in the game. During our training sessions and the games we have played I have noticed tremendous coordination and cohesion in the players -- up front, middle and defense and their understanding each other's job competitively," he added. [Chennaiyin FC season preview]
He said he was not unduly perturbed regarding the absence of Elano or Mendoza. "We have filled the void with very good players on the international scene and the whole team has gelled well with their new colleagues for this edition of the tournament.
"Like last year we want to play to our potentials and I do hope we will succeed this time too to win the title," Materazzi said.
Asked about striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, the coach said, "He has progressed well during the last two years and I must admit that he is a complete player.
"He is a key player for the Indian national side and it is important. As much as I watched him during the last three or four months training for this new season, I find Jeje has progressed on the right lines with total focus.
"I do hope he will keep improving and maintain his rhythm." Asked about his team's behaviour on the field, he said, "I am not going to guarantee that as I am not looking to win the best behaved team award but I want them to play all 17 matches and retain the title.
"Winning it for the second time is more important to me and the team and more so for the Chennaiyin fans."